Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review: The Anubis Gates

My cousin sent me this book a while back and I was lucky enough to heed her advice and read the damn thing. The Anubis Gates follows the exploits of a historian named Brendan Doyle who travels back in time to the 19th century and is kidnapped by a group of gypsies. He misses his window to get back to his own time and must deal with life in the 19th century. Doyle is thrust into a world of magic, murder, and intrigue as he tries to stop a plot to unleash the wrath of ancient Egyptian Gods on London, all the while trying to find a way back home.

Tim Powers writes with a voice similar to the works of Jules Verne and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, completely appropriate for a work mostly set in the 19th century. He weaves a complex plot that twists and turns creating a tapestry through time. Unlike many other works, the complexities of the plot aren't due to an overabundance of characters, rather, they are due to intricacies and subtleties in dialogue and a history that is similar to our own but riddled with minute tweaks that make this work of fiction feel plausible.

After I finished The Anubis Gates I researched Tim Powers a bit and found that he does a lot of Alternate Histories. He's got a good niche and he's better at the Alternate History game than some of the other authors I've read in the genre.

I'd recommend this book to fans of Alternate Histories, 19th Century literature (including Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne), and fans of Steampunk. While the Steampunk elements are subtle at times, they are woven in throughout in a way that made me smile to myself while I read.

Bookophile Rating: Ludicrous!

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